March 16, 2020
Dear Friends and Members of St. John,
St. John Lutheran Church is suspending all activities and worship in our building until at least April 2, 2020. The Church Council discussed how best to protect our church and our community after worship on Sunday, March 15th, and decided that this was the best course of action. Please know that the leadership of St. John will continue to monitor recommendations from government and community health leaders to determine how we proceed in the coming weeks. We will communicate with you as soon as we know when we can begin worshiping in our building again. Above all, know this: we will continue to be a church even though our building is temporarily closed. Here are some of the ways we will continue to be St. John Lutheran Church.
We can start by keeping in touch with each other via phone or email. Many of you have friends or relatives at St. John, and that connection is part of what makes St. John such a wonderful place. The staff will be answering the office line – (701) 232-8521 during weekday business hours throughout the closure. Feel free to give us a call if you have a question or want to connect with someone. We would be happy to help.
I also want to encourage you to consider pausing at 6:30pm every day for a short time of prayers of devotions. Pastor Brian and I, along with others, will provide materials that you can use for this devotional time. If we as a community pause every day for a few minutes of prayer and reflection, it will deepen our connection to God and to each other in the midst of anxious times.
Find us on the web! www.stjohnfargo.com On our website or our Facebook page, you will find our devotionals, links to other resources, and online worship! While Pastor Brian and I are not experienced online worship leaders, we’re excited about the opportunity to give it a try. We are planning to do a Facebook Live broadcast of a scripture, sermon, and some prayers on Sunday morning at 9:30am. We also hope to post other worship experiences on our webpage that you can access anytime.
If you are able, I ask you to continue your financial support of St. John and its ministries. We plan to continue to pay our staff during this time, as we are asking them to work from home. This may be a wonderful opportunity for us as a staff to prepare a new bible study, plan next year’s CrossWalk, or tackle a different project. We also are planning to reach out and connect with many of our members via phone or email. I hope you would consider contacting John Bell, our Finance Manager, and set up automatic debits for your giving if you have not already done so. We will continue to collect our mail during this time as well.
Finally, thank you for being such an amazing church! When the possibility of closing on March 15th was first talked about, everyone understood and supported the decision knowing that we were caring for our neighbor as well. In this time of social distancing and quarantines, we have an amazing opportunity to deepen our connection with each other and God. We have the chance of pausing to reflect more deeply on God’s love for us, and how we can worship God and be a church even though our building is closed. I am so grateful for your continued support and faithful dedication to the mission we share in Christ! Above all, I hope that you are able to find light and peace during the next few weeks.